Look at the Bones!
The most iconic scene in the cult hit Monty Python and the Holy Grail involves a rabbit. As King Arthur and his band approach a cave they come in contact with a foul creature guarding the entrance. A little white rabbit is seen among the scattered remains of dead warriors. Arthur is indignant about this, but Tim, the sorcerer simply says, “look at the bones.” One Arthur’s knights attempt to slay the beast, but the little fluffy demon easily bites the man’s head off. Even Arthur’s Court is no match for the “dynamite rabbit.” Now, imagine thousands of these attacking a village and you have Fluffy Horde.
Rabbits are not scary animals, but when an evil shaman summons a massive horde of them to take over the world, well, that changes everything. The indie development company called Turtle Juice has created a title that “combines Plants vs. Zombies and Kingdom to create a mutant, rabbit filled experience.” Enter the Fluffy Horde.
Beware the Furry Wave
The first thing that I want to pinpoint on this title is its particular genre. The developers compare this game to defense titles like Plants vs. Zombies, but I feel that there is a better comparison to a much older game. Do you remember Lemmings? In that game, the object was to herd these mindless lemmings to their safety through the use of puzzle-like mechanics. In Fluffy Horde, instead of herding the rabbits to their safety, you must herd them to their doom. With that said, this game is a hybrid puzzle/strategy that borrows from several different genres to create a unique gameplay experience.
In this game the rabbits do what rabbit do, they multiply. The object is to kill all of the individual rabbits before they either overpopulate or destroy the object you are protecting. Whether it is defending a windmill, a snooty princess, or a thirsty cow, the fluffy horse cannot be allowed to get past your defenses. To do this, individual units are created and placed in particular areas stave off the furry wave. Soldiers, archers, and even decoys dressed as carrots help with the war effort. It is your job to place these units in the best areas that will ensure victory. Trust me, it is easier said than done.
Quite a Puzzle Indeed
The puzzle aspect of this game centers around management of the relentless wave of rabbits. The developers added such mechanics as magic portals and springboards which can either help or hinder your progress in the game. The carrot guy is able to lead bunnies away from the objective, but he can easily be dispatched. Farmers provide the finances to create units, but they too must be protected because the rabbits can gobble up the produce. Some units can be upgraded to provide extra defense, but that costs more an more money to do so. Resource management is essential, as well as unit placement and timing. As you move forward, this game becomes quite challenging.
A Wealth of Humor
Fluffy Horde is a game that does not take itself very seriously, and that is good because it provides a wealth of hilarity. If the idea of fighting off a furry army of bunnies isn’t funny enough, the interaction between the units only adds to the comedy. Each unit interacts with the players when clicked on, much like in Warcraft games. When clicked on they each say something about the situation they are in, and it is always funny. My favorite unit is the carrot guy. Sometimes when his unit is created he says, “they said I would never be a carrot, well look at me now! Follow your dreams, kids!” I had to pause the game because I was laughing so hard after I heard that.
Some Fluffy Problems
Despite the strong puzzle mechanics and great humor, Fluffy Horde does have some notable gameplay issues. First off, the units themselves are not very easy to manage. When the wave of rabbits become overwhelming, I found myself spamming units in order to kill them off. All of the units practically stack on each other when they are created, so managing and upgrading them individually becomes very difficult. On top of that, the units come with a banner that must be moved in order to control them. When the banner is placed in a general location, that unit will defend that area. The problem is that the units cannot be ordered to attack an individual rabbit. I have lost many windmills because my knights did not attack the rabbits that were biting them even though they were standing beside them.
Another issue that this game has is with scrolling. The playing field can be very long, and you must scroll through the field to manage everything. Scrolling is too slow, and even though the map can be clicked on in the corner, it provides an awkward set up for players.
Fluffy Horde also has a problem that any puzzle games share; it can get tenuous and repetitive. For the first part of the game, the developers do an excellent job of introducing new mechanics regularly, but as the game continues on, less new content is provided. There are 100 levels in this game and a special boss that appears every 25 levels. For most players, that is a huge gap between climactic moments in a game.
The Final Verdict
Fluffy Horde is a fun and creative title that will challenge you while making you laugh. It is a game that is not meant to be taken seriously, but it does provide a serious challenge. It does have some issues with tenuous gameplay and unit management, but those are only small oversites to the full game.
In conclusion, I give Fluffy Horde 7.5 murderous rabbits out of 10. If you would like to play this game for yourself, it is currently available on Steam. Can you stave off the Fluffy Horde?